Ships hit by U-boats

British Merit

British Motor tanker

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameBritish Merit
Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage8,093 tons
Completed1942 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow 
OwnerBritish Tanker Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack25 Jul 1942Nationality:      British
FateDamaged by U-552 (Erich Topp)
Position49° 03'N, 40° 36'W - Grid BC 3829
Complement55 (1 dead and 54 survivors).
RouteClyde (18 Jul) - Halifax - New York 
History Completed in July 1942

Broken up at Briton Ferry in March 1961. 
Notes on event

At 03.52 hours on 25 July 1942, U-552 fired a spread of two torpedoes at the British Merit in station #94 of convoy ON-113 and hit with one torpedo. The tanker was on its maiden voyage and had torpedo nets streamed which stopped one of the torpedo, but the other struck her port quarter just behind the nets. One man was killed by the explosion and another seriously injured. 32 men abandoned ship in two lifeboats and were picked up by HMCS Brandon (K 149) (Lt J.C. Littler, RCNR), while the master and 21 crew members remained aboard.

The tug HMS Frisky (W 11) was sent out to salvage the disabled British Merit, which was guarded by HMCS Brandon (K 149) and HMS Polyanthus (K 47) (LtCdr R.S. Holland, RNR). The latter then escorted the tug convoy to St. Johns, arriving on 2 August. After temporary repairs the tanker was towed to New York in September 1942 but only returned to service after almost a year in August 1943.

On boardWe have details of 5 people who were on board

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